What does an inguinal hernia repair operation entail?

Many types. There are two main categories of repair - open and laparoscopic. Both are generally done as outpatient operations. The variety of open techniques are performed by about 80% is surgeons, and lap about 20%. Open techniques are slightly more painful and associated with a slightly longer recovery.
"Close the Hole" Inguinal hernias may be repaired from the "outside-in" (open) or "inside-out" (laparoscopic). Either way, the principle is the same: close the hole, usually using artificial tissue, much like patching a tire. The operation is usually done under general anesthesia as an out-patient procedure. Recovery lasts for 2-4 weeks to return to most normal activities, depending on the size of the hernia.